Obama says democracy ‘may not survive’ if Arizona Republicans win

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PHOENIX – Former President Barack Obama used a rally here Wednesday night to issue perhaps his most stark warning yet about the stakes next week mid Road elections for the American system of self-government.

If the Republican candidates here are successful, Obama said, “democracy as we know it may not survive in Arizona.”

“It’s not an exaggeration,” he added. “That’s a fact.”

Because winning the GOP ticket, the former president proclaimed to a crowd of more than 1,000 at a South Phoenix high school gymnasium, would mean “election deniers serving as governor, senator, secretary of… ‘State, Advocate General.’

Republican candidates for these positions have been more vocal than many GOP candidates elsewhere in embracing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. They have promised to transform the way the election is run. are unfolding in this crucial swing state — promises they would be able to implement if voters handed them over to the state’s electoral system.

A Washington Post analysis of the candidates’ statements and actions shows a majority of Republican candidates on the ballot this fall for federal or state office — 291 in total — have denied or questioned the 2020 election results. In Arizona, all but one of 13 GOP nominees have done so.

Kari Lake, in the gubernatorial race, called anyone who thinks Joe Biden won by 81 million votes a “conspiracy theorist.” Senate candidate Blake Masters unequivocally announced in an ad: “I think Trump won in 2020.”

Lake, when pressed into a recent ABC interview about his allegations of voter fraud, pointed to a series of unsubstantiated examples of ballot mishandling, but allowed, “I will accept the results of this election if we have a fair, honest and transparent election. Absolutely. 100 per cent.”

Marc Finchem, who identified himself as a member of the Oath Keepers militia and is the party’s choice for the post of Secretary of State, sought to demand a manual count of all ballots and give the legislature led by the Republicans the power to reject election results. Abraham Hamadeh, the candidate for attorney general, promised a “day of reckoning” for “those who worked to rob President Trump in the rigged 2020 election,” pairing his warning with an image of handcuffs.

Polls suggest all are competitive in Tuesday’s races.

Obama appeared to take personally what he called the GOP’s unilateral rejection of the Democratic playing field.

“When Donald Trump won, I stayed up until 3 a.m. so I could give a congratulatory call to someone who opposed everything I stood for, but believed in the peaceful transfer of power,” Obama said. “I attended his inauguration. We welcomed him to the White House. Because that’s what America is meant to be. Have we forgotten that? Did this only apply to one side? »

The former president asked in disbelief, “What happened?”

His remarks echoed those made earlier in the day by Biden, once his No. 2 in the White House. Speaking 2,000 miles away at Washington’s Union Station, President said candidates who refuse to accept the result of Tuesday’s contests put the country on a “path of chaos”.

Chaos was also the accusation leveled at Republicans by Democrats who appeared alongside Obama in Phoenix.

Katie Hobbs, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said voters in Arizona had a “choice between sanity and chaos”. Kris Mayes, candidate for the post of Attorney General, clearly stated: “Our adversaries do not believe in democracy.

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